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Should I Redirect Recently Acquired Non-hyphenated Domain To Existing Hyphenated Site?

Existing Site Has Decent Search Engine Traffic

11:14 am on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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joined:Oct 11, 2013
posts: 39
votes: 5

Hello everyone,

it is my first post here, though I've been around for a while. I'm not a native english speaker (nor writer of course), so please pardon for my mistakes. Ok, here's the case:

I own quite old and authoritative two word domain with the hyphen in it (say, example-domain.fr - no .com, it's for particular country only). It ranks in highly competitive niche relatively well. But yeah, you've guessed it, I would like to rank it better and get more traffic.

Not so long ago I was able to grab exactly same-word domain without the hyphen in it (that would be exampledomain.fr), which was already taken back then when I've bought my original one (mhm, example-domain.fr).

With 301 redirect I've pointed my newly bought domain (exampledomain.fr) to my old one (example-domain.fr), also I'm using this new domain without the hyphen for short url service. Say exampledomain.fr/12345 points to example-domain.fr/some-great-article-about-unicorn-12345.

Now, most of this website's traffic is from (local) Google and I would like to change it somehow, so, I figure, first thing to do is to gain more direct traffic. That's where I've started to think about switching domains and now I have a headache :)

To sum up:

the original domain with the hyphen (example-domain.fr):

    is quite authoritative (domain authority is more than 35, page authority - more than 45);
    has a few thousands of links;
    has PageRank of 5
    personaly to me, it looks better on page (but that's may be the case of staring to it everyday more than 7 years);

quite new same-word domain without the hyphen (exampledomain.fr):

    has no authority;
    has no links;
    has no PageRank;
    it is easier to type in the domain without the hyphen and it looks better in the url (oh really?).

To spice things up, I've did a little research: searched in (local) Google for some highly competitive keywords from my niche and in the top100 results there is only 3-5% of domains with the hyphen in them. And mostly they positioned at the end of that first top100 results.

What would you do if you were standing in my shoes? Would you switch the domains or leave it as it is? Why?

I hope I made myself clear enough. Thank you for your opinions!
1:25 pm on Oct 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 2, 2003
votes: 100

Unless you plan to advertise in media where the hyphen could present a problem (like radio) I wouldn't change a thing. Search engine love is very finicky. Why risk a working relationship? Stick with the 301 unless or until the original site/domain is beaten down.

Might benefit by reading this: [webmasterworld.com ]

Also, use WebmasterWorld's search tool to research the topic you have raised. The subject has been discussed many times over the years.